Google Adwords Mistakes That A lot of Singapore Businesses Make

Singapore business owners should handle their Google Adwords campaigns carefully.

If you want to drive traffic to your website, the quickest way to do it is with Google Adwords. However, there is something that every Singapore entrepreneur should keep in mind when executing this particular method. If your SEM marketing is not done correctly it can be quite costly. In fact, in the worst case scenario, you may spend a lot of your budget but see little to no return on investment. So let’s take a moment to discuss a few common mistakes that business owners make with their Adwords campaign.

Failing to Group Adwords Correctly

One of the most convenient things about Google Adwords is that it gives you the ability to separate your campaigns. This means that you can run a product and content campaign simultaneously. And a big part of running an individual campaign is grouping your Adwords. Unfortunately, there are business owners who choose not to do this. They instead combine their keywords into one group and then show the same ad.

get google ranking ad

Here’s the problem: the keywords may not match the ad that is being shown. This means that people are less likely to click on it because it’s not the word they searched for. Let’s say that you offer clothing apparel–shirts, shoes, hats, and socks. If you don’t break down which of these products are featured in your ads and base the keywords on what people are searching for, your ad will be more general. So customise your ad. Be specific.

Wrong Keyword Matches

Google Adwords gives you the ability to add keywords to your campaign in one of three ways. You may choose to add your keywords using broad match. This means that Google will show your ads no matter in what order the keywords are searched for. For example, if your keyword is ‘baking supplies’, the ad will show up for people who search ‘where can I buy baking supplies.’ If you enter your keywords without any punctuation, then as long as the words appear in the search, your ad will be shown.

You may choose to add your keywords using a phrase match. This means that Google will show your ads when the complete phrase, in the order that you have entered it, is searched for. For example, if your phrase is ‘best baking supplies,’ the ad will only show up for people who search ‘best baking supplies.’ If you add quotation marks around your phrase, then searchers will only see the ad if they’ve typed this phrase exactly.

Lastly, you may choose to add your keywords using exact match. This means that Google will show your ads when the search matches the exact keyword. If your exact match is ‘best baking supplies,’ then it will only show up when someone searches ‘best baking supplies.’  That means they will not see your ad if they search ‘best baking supplies for beginners.’ If you add brackets to your keyword, then it will result in exact matches.

Why It Matters:

It’s important that you choose your match wisely because each type of match can deliver different types of results. And each has its own benefits. Broad match offers imprecise results but can help when your products or services don’t fit into a specific category. However, exact matches have a more precise result and can lead to higher conversion rates. It’s a good idea to start with exact match and then make changes from there if needed.  

Google AdWords

Avoiding Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are extremely important because they help you to eliminate the keywords that are not good matches for your product or service. If you sell men’s shoes but don’t sell running shoes, then you should include running in your negative keywords search. This can be done on the campaign and group level. Try using ‘Query Match Type’ on Google Analytics to identify which words should be excluded.

Relying On Your Creativity Instead of the Numbers

A lot of business owners make the mistake of getting too attached to their ad copy. The problem is, this makes them turn a blind eye to what the numbers have to say about it. And they end up putting out an ad that is not effective.

So it’s important to do a lot of testing. Try different variations of your headlines and see which people respond to best. In some cases, even a small tweak can make a world of difference. Instead of relying on your creativity, rely on the response of the viewers and click-through rates.  Even once you have found a winner and released the ad, you should never stop testing.

Never Bidding on Your Brand

Believe it or not, it’s a good idea to bid on your own brand name. Why is this? Well, when people search for you, you need to make sure that you appear at the top. You may assume that you already have the top ranking since this is your brand name. However, it’s very likely that your competitors will bid on your name so that they can target your customers in their ad. And ironically, this search result may appear above yours. So spare no expense when bidding your brand.

Never Estimating the Customers’ Lifetime Value

Another common mistake that tends to cost Singapore business owners a lot of money is not estimating the lifetime value, or LTV, of their customers. You should never spend more to gain a customer than you will actually earn from the customer. By calculating the value of your customers, you will know how much of your ad budget you need to spend on each.

Wrong Ad Position

If you ask any reputable SEM agency about getting your ad to the top of the search engine, there is a good chance they will first ask you what your goal is beyond that. And that’s because you may not benefit from having your ad positioned at the top of the search engine. Sure, if you just want visibility and to increase your brand awareness, then it’s great. However, if you’re actually trying to convert customers, then it’s better to be in spots 3-5.

Here’s why: people tend to click the first ad without even thinking. Spots 3-5 are positioned in areas of the screen that people only view when they are not able to find what have been looking for. So when choosing a position think about your intent. You should also test each spot with a low bid in order to make sure you have the right one.

Oblivious to The Competition

In the world of pay per click, you should always pay attention to what your competition is doing. More specifically, you need to know how your ad measures up to theirs. So take a look at their landing page. Who’s ad would you be more likely to click, yours or theirs? If you would choose theirs then figure out what makes theirs more appealing. Perhaps it’s a better design or they exhibit social proof. Learn from their copy and make improvements to yours.

Expecting Too Much

And Adwords campaign can be rather costly. So if you are a startup who is operating on a small budget, then it may be a good idea to rely on organic promotion until you can increase your budget. Your starting Adwords budget should be large enough to allow you to do a lot of testing. It’s very unlikely that you will get things right on your first try, so save your money until you’re able to get a high return on investment. Only spending a couple of hundred or less a month will only frustrate you.

Wrong Product Pages

Perhaps the biggest mistake a Singapore business owner could make is directing their ad traffic to the homepage. Whenever someone clicks on your ad, they need to be taken to the page that shows them that exact product or service. They should never have to spend time looking for the product that they clicked your ad for. This has a negative impact on your conversion rates.


The key to running a successful Google Adwords campaign is taking the time to optimise it. These are the most common mistakes Singapore business owners tend to make. By avoiding these, you could easily gain an edge on the competition.

Google AdWords Singapore

7 Best Practices for Google Ads

Digital marketing has seen a revolution and marketers have come up with ingenious best practices for Google Ads. The platform has enabled marketers to optimise SEM management.

Since it was launched in 200, then rebranded from Google AdWords to Google Ads in 2018, the platform has been responsible for over 3.5 billion daily interactions. With an estimated 700% ROI for Google Ads users, you need to spend your marketing budget in the right place.

Why Google Ads

The ads created using Google Ads are displayed on several channels including YouTube, Google, Blogger, and millions of other websites in the Google Display Network. Google Ads have an approximate click-through rate of 8%, and the display ads yield at least 180 million impressions per month.

Google Ads has worked for millions of websites, but thousands if not millions of websites do not use the platform properly. In this article, we look at the best practices for Google ads that will increase traffic to your site.

Test Multiple ETAs in Every Ad Group

Expanded text ads (ETA) have higher CTRs than standard text ads. However, many of the advertisers who focus on getting ETAs into every ad group but they only test a single ETA for every ad group. For a better ROI, it is advisable that you use multiple tested ETAs.

Unfortunately, a majority of the advertisers hope to find the perfect ETA for their digital marketing campaigns. While ads testing is not an easy task, however, the smallest amount of testing will go a long way.

As a best practice for Google Ads, you should be testing at least three ETAs in every ad group. It will not only help you find the best ads for your campaigns, but it also improves performance while using optimal ad rotation settings on Google Ads.

Optimise Your Ad Rotations

While creating your ETAs, you must use ads that resonate with a wide group of searchers. This is especially important if you are using multiple CTAs in your ad copy. They will perform differently for different searchers, and this is why you need to optimise your ad rotations.

This practice allows you to show your best offer to searchers. Google uses a variety of signals such as user demographics, search query, time of day, device, and past search behaviour. This way, you will display the ads that have a higher chance of earning clicks and conversions.

However, ad rotation does not affect which ad is shown to searchers, but it affects which one enters the ad auction. Optimising your ad rotation and doing ad testing, you will also reveal the ads that are performing poorly.

Use a Variety of Ad Extensions

Several years ago, advertisers would use a variety of ad extensions, but it has become one of the best practices for Google Ads that is falling by the wayside. With that said, Google Ads have added a variety of ad extensions which include structured snippets, callout extensions, affiliate location extensions, message extensions, price extensions, promotion extensions, and more.

There are tens of ad extensions and it is easy to skip a few extensions. However, statistics show that ad headlines have a higher click rate than the ad extensions. With that said ads with extensions increases their visibility comparted to ads that only have an ad header.

For example, location ads only drive at least 1% of the paid clicks from search engines; however, such ads have twice the CTR as those without. The numbers are similar for other types of extensions. For this reason, you need to keep track of new Google ad extensions to give you an edge over your competition.

Create Ad Extensions across the Entire Account

While many advertisers have created common ad extensions, 1 out of 7 accounts do not use them in their campaigns. For this reason, they pass up on the quality score benefits attached to the use of ad extensions.

One of the ways of catching and correcting this mistake is by doing an extensive audit of your account. However, most people forget to reapply each of the extensions to their new campaigns. In order to, save you on the repeated manual task every time you create a new campaign, you should create generic extensions that apply to your business.

Since you also need specific campaigns, as well as relevant extensions that complement your ads it is necessary that you apply the ad extensions to the campaigns and ad groups according to your needs.

Set Up Your Time Zone and Currency Correctly

Google Ads allows you to change your time zone once, but once you set the currency, you cannot change it. This is necessary since the statistics you get from Google Ads reports are affected by the selected time zone.

It is necessary that you get it right from the start; otherwise, you will not see the required results. Wirth that said, the rebranding and upgrading of Google AdWords to Google Ads in 2018, allowed its users to change the time zone and currency settings.

Connect Your Google Ads Account with Google Analytics

The main reason for this practice is to enable you analyse customer activity on your website after clicking on your ads. More so, you also get to create custom audiences in Google Analytics and applying them via Google Ads.

This is one of the best practices for Google Ads that come in handy during remarketing and retargeting campaigns.  

Define a Target Location

This includes defining the country, region, or city for your targeting campaigns. If you fail to do this, you could be paying for ads that are showing in countries that are not interested in your products or services.

If you are a web designer or digital marketer looking to attract local ads in Singapore, your Google Ads should be specific to Singapore, not in Brazil, or Alaska or any other country. Defining your target location allows you to concentrate your time, money, and efforts into making custom campaigns for Singaporeans.


Google Ads is one of the best tools for you to optimise your SEM; unfortunately, most businesses get it wrong. We hope that the above best practices for Google Ads will set you up to improving the reach of your ads and improve the quality of your traffic.

Contact us today for the best search engine marketing services in Singapore.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.

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